Understanding the need for a prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement may seem appropriate for only wealthy couples to many Texas residents, but having one in place is becoming increasingly common for even couples of average income when a wedding in the works. While it may seem like an unromantic gesture, having this document in place is actually due diligence for financial stability in the future.

One reason that couples may consider getting a prenup is because they have a net worth of over $100,000 or family heirlooms that they do not want to lose in a divorce. Additionally, they may have experienced costly divorce litigation in the past. Having a prenup in place can potentially save a couple both money, heartache and emotional stress should the marriage not last.

Many couples are choosing to marry later in life after each establishing assets as individuals. A prenup can protect the division of those assets as well as any assets gained during the course of the marriage. Prenups can also be used to determine details such as spousal support. In many states, the rate of spousal support can change the longer a couple stays married, but having a prenup in place can determine this detail, which may keep the couple out of court in the end.

Along with prenuptial agreements, many couples have a post-nuptial agreement put in place after an event imperils the solidarity of the marriage; it is possible that they may separate for a time and then decide to reconcile. This is a key time to construct a post-nuptial to hash out important details should the marriage not work out as planned.

Many couples, regardless of wealth, can benefit from having a prenup or post-nuptial agreement. It takes up to three months to get all the financial details ready to finalize the agreement, so this is not something to spring on a future spouse days before a wedding ceremony. Working with a skilled family law attorney can help couples understand and craft thorough prenuptial agreements.

Source: Fox Business, "Why You Should Consider a Prenup," Andrea Murad, Feb. 4, 2013

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